Document Detail


Chance as an explanatory factor in evolutionary biology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1801049     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Darwinian evolutionary biology has often been criticized for appealing to the notion of 'chance' in its explanations. According to some critics, such appeals exhibit the explanatory poverty of evolutionary theory. In response, defenders of Darwinism sometimes downplay the importance of 'chance' in evolution. I believe that both of these approaches are mistaken. The main thesis of this paper is that the term 'chance' encompasses a number of distinct concepts, and that at least some of these concepts serve essential explanatory functions in evolutionary biology. This claim is defended by way of an historical survey of the major concepts of 'chance' in the history of evolutionary biology, especially the concepts used by Jean Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Darwin, and Sewall Wright. An examination of their biologies shows how the concepts of 'chance' used cohere with their major scientific objectives and methods. These concepts survive and continue to function as important explanatory factors in contemporary evolutionary biology. Examples of such usage are given, and the explanatory status of 'chance' assessed.
Authors:
T Shanahan
Related Documents :
24398379 - Ossuv3 functions in cadmium and zinc stress tolerance in rice (oryza sativa l. cv ir64).
23265499 - Wine grape pomace as antioxidant dietary fibre for enhancing nutritional value and impr...
22943039 - Effects of chronic social stress on obesity.
20665819 - The fish in the turtle: on the functionality of the oropharynx in the common musk turtl...
21872749 - The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments.
11976919 - Functional interaction between kchip1 and gfp-fused kv4.3l co-expressed in hek293 cells.
16118029 - The source of anomalous radioactivity in the springs bordering the sea of galilee, israel.
9170649 - Vidas enzyme-linked fluorescent immunoassay for detection of salmonella in foods: colla...
24394579 - Trace element nutrition in developing countries.
Publication Detail:
Type:  Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  History and philosophy of the life sciences     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0391-9714     ISO Abbreviation:  Hist Philos Life Sci     Publication Date:  1991  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-04-20     Completed Date:  1992-04-20     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003052     Medline TA:  Hist Philos Life Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  249-68     Citation Subset:  IM; Q; S    
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adaptation, Biological
Biology / history*
Evolution*
Gene Frequency
History, 18th Century
History, 19th Century
History, 20th Century
Selection, Genetic
Personal Name Subject
Personal Name Subject:
J B Lamarck; C Darwin; S Wright

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Alexithymia and perceived symptoms: criterion validity of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale.
Next Document:  Comparative trial of norfloxacin and macrocrystalline nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin) in the prophylaxi...